Some Europeans are bothered by recent news coming from the Philippines, particularly the killings related to the Duterte administration's war on illegal drugs, according to a report by GMA News' Jay Sabale on State of the Nation on Thursday.
The report said in Brussels, Belgium, where the headquarters of the European Union is located, the spate of killings in the Philippines has become a common topic of conversation among ordinary Europeans.
"Punishing drug dealers or suspected drug dealers without justice. That sounds, compared to the human rights standards here in Europe, it sounds really scary," said a Czech national who refused to be identified.
For her part, Jacqueline Hale, a British national, said: "We all have to address the problem of crime, but to do so in a way which is so violent? It shouldn't happen anywhere. Not in Europe, not in the Philippines."
Jerick Parrone, a Filipino in Brussels, said foreigners have suddenly become curious about the drug situation in the Philippines.
"Ngayon ang unang lumalabas ay ang situation about our government, situation about drugs. Nakakapanibago na marinig yun sa mga kaibigan kong banyaga kasi 'yun ang una nilang naiisip," he said.
The spate of drug-related killings has prompted the European Parliament to issue a resolution expressing its concern to "the high numbers killed during police operations in the context of an intensified anti-crime and anti-drug campaign."
It also urged the Philippine government to "launch an 'immediate investigation' into them and adopt 'specific, comprehensive policies and programmes', in full compliance with national and international obligations and respect for human rights."
Meanwhile, several Filipinos in Europe urged foreigners not to easily judge the Philippines, noting the realities on the ground.
"Meron tayong sariling kultura, meron tayong sariling kasaysayan. Hindi natin kailangan gumaya sa iba. Kaya anuman ang sabihin ng ibang bansa sa nangyayari sa Pilipinas, wala tayong pakialam," said Michael Tan, a Filipino worker in France.
"Before you make judgments, ask what's happening in the Philippines, and don't judge Filipinos as a whole because of what's happening," said Ethan Gumpert, a Filipino-American student in Brussels. —KBK, GMA News